Saturday, January 29

before i turn a year older.

(first of a series..)

26, for me, is the most strategic age to start planning how the rest of your life will turn out to be. it is the middle ground between being retrospective of the things of your youth and being clairvoyant of the prospects of your future. being 26 means not being too young to start thinking about your life adventures thus far, while also not being too old that you are set out on your ways -- to the contrary, you can always have a healthy mix of both these worldviews, so you can adapt to the ways of world.

adapting, mind you, does not always imply compromising, but more often than not, it entails discarding all those rose-colored life perceptions that have broken you in the past.

in the end, what is important is that you have learned, and what matters is how your life goes on from now. these, through the years, have been my realizations about being 26, and about the absurdity that has become my life:

on jobs

by this time, it might already be apparent to you that the universe does not operate by your standards. corollary to this time-tested truth, you might have been the most brilliant university student who aced both math and english, excelled in c0-curricular activities, and was a campus figure that was well-loved by both your teachers and secret admirers (sometimes, even by both sexes, or even by teachers of both genders). but work is not an extension of your school reputation.

here, you get broken to the truth that in order to be mainstream, you oftentimes need to think less so you can earn more. even when you have that ultimate dream job etched in your mind and you imagine yourself to be doing what your heart prods you to do, the universe can be a bitch and it may slap you with a job that only requires you to use a quarter of your brain.

even when the most complicated math problems in college was the air that kept you alive in college, and your prose was the most beautiful in your literature class, you still need to go out and smell the stinking stench of office politics. yes, that is one facet of your job that the universe has especially prepared for you. so do not be surprised when all of a sudden, you find yourself at the pit, and you need to slither your way to the top -- because if you are brilliant, your sparkle will inevitably shine through.

if you are currently employed, ask yourself: do i still see myself doing this after 10, 15, or 20 years? if your heart's honest answer is yes, then slug it out with an impassioned heart and a tempered mind -- feel that this is what you will be doing for the rest of your life, but be consoled by your knowledge that not everything will go according to plan. be wise.

if, on the other hand, your heart softly tells you to abandon ship, resign from your job as soon as you can, before you get sucked up entirely by it. it takes daring and courage to own up to this, but you need to remember that your decision now will inevitably bleed to your conception of self 10 to 20 years from now. you owe it to your future self. if you are unhappy now, then this sadness is exponentially bound to multiply if you do not do anything about it.

these routines, after all, have an uncanny way of normalizing sadness, and mediocrity, through time, becomes ideal. leave while your faculties still have the power to distinguish one from the other. otherwise, your tragedy is in the offing.

on love

by this time, you are well aware that the fairy tale kind of love does not exist, or if it does, it does not last long. it might be possible for you to reminisce your first love or the trappings of love unrequited, but most probably too, you have been broken by the most painful heartache your heart has ever known. if you are lucky, you may have been meticulously reattached into one coherent whole after that; but if you're not, you may still be reeling from the brokenness of empty promises, farce substitutes to commitment, and i-love-yous that do not sustain.

even when you may have lost a little faith in your personal conception of love, as much as possible, do not be jaded and abandon it entirely. it is okay to lose faith in people, but never in love. if anything, you just need to temper your romantic exploits, and be extra cautious with who you choose to surrender your heart to. love, according to desiderata, is perennial as the grass -- therefore, pine for it, but do not be blinded by the intensity of your emotions once it engulfs you entirely. yes, you may think that what you feel is the real deal, but you also need to temper your emotions with these musings:

first, does it feel like a perfect match? at 26, it is important to look for someone who can keep up with both your endearments and eccentricities. as much as possible, look for someone who shares your heart's passions and basks in the same crimson sunsets that warm your heart. do not settle for anything else, because on the second question;

is your partner there because of the intertwining of emotions or is it because of something else? at 26, you cannot be faulted for looking for someone who can assure you of companionship, because to be completely truthful, sometimes, getting by life alone is scary. or scarier, than when you have someone to help you deal with it. but when this personal fear of being alone supersedes the innate passions that you have for each other, you need to disabuse yourself and let go. move on and let go, because at this crucial point in your life, you need to look for the real deal, and not settle for what is merely comfortable and familiar.

if you fret that the universe has deprived you of that beautiful soul who will make your days more magical than usual, you could not be any more mistaken. we all have our life adventures mapped out before us, and when your personal circumstance and cosmic destiny converges to make your epic love story happen, embrace it wholeheartedly - because even when relationships are complicated and your emotions may be volatile, you know that your heart can sift through romances that will inevitably wither.

your heart never lies to you, so when it speaks, listen to it intently.

(to be continued..)

Thursday, January 20

usapang lasheng.

ganito ang nangyayari pag merong sensitive issue at hand at nagkaroon ng sandamkak na alak in the table.

unang round. (one grande of red horse)
cast of characters: ako at si jonah, ang aking karamay sa pagsasamba sa alak.

jonah: alam mo ba, merong nagsuicide na estudyante nung isang araw sa dorm? iskeyri!
clyde: bakit daw?
jonah: madaming anggulo e -- may love, school, at pwede ding gender problems. basta, igalang nalang natin ang namatay. kawawa naman ang pamilya.
clyde: sinabi mo pa. oo nga, tumungga nalang tayo.

round two. (dalawang red horse grande na ang naitutumba)
cast of characters: ako, jonah, at ang magiting na si alexa, yung minsang nakitulog sa bahay namin.

alexa: putang ina, kaaga-aga umiinom na kayo! alas dyis pa lang ng umaga, wala ba kayong respeto sa araw?
clyde: shaaaaadap. inom ka na, bilis! habang may kaperahan pa tayo.
jonah: oo nga, shaaaadaaaaap.
alexa: okay fine. (lagok) alam nyo ba may nagpakamatay daw na estudyante nung isang araw, iskeyri ha!
clyde: oo nga eh, kanina pa namin pinag uusapan yan. kawawa naman yung pamilya nung babae.
alexa: sabi nung trike driver na sinakyan ko kanina, uminom daw ng white flower si girl, kasi may bukas na bote ng white flower sa harapan nya.
jonah: baka naman nagka muscle pains at cramps lang siya bago nangyari ang suicide event?
alexa: pakyu, hindi nuh! ubos daw lahat ng contents nung bote, as in sagad ang pagkaubos.
clyde: pero diba ang liit naman ng bote ng white flower? malamang sa malamang eh isang karton ang dapat mong ubusin para makafeel ka ng justice sa white flower!

round three. (apat na bukas na grande na ang nakatambad sa harapan namin)
cast of characters: ako, jonah, alexa, amanda (isang foreigner girl na madalas kong nakikita sa mga inuman sessions kung saan saan) at si cherry (isang maskom girl na maliit ang built, pero varsity sa paginom ng alak at parang isda lang)

alexa: clyde and jonah, meet cherry and amanda!
clyde: hi! hi! okay na ba ang pleasantries? ang alak nag-aantay oh! wag nating putulin ang momentum. inom mga anak, biliiiiiiiis!
amanda: iskeyri sa school ngayon ah. mukhang may nagpakamatay na naman! lintek na pag-ibig talaga ito!
cherry: ay oo nga! ang pinakamasaklap pa, natagpuan ang katawan ni girl ng 6:15, pero 8:30 dumating ang SOCO. kamusta naman yan diba?
alexa: letche talaga yang SOCO na yan.
jonah: yun ba yung agency na si gus ablegas ang chief?
alexa: oo! nakakapikon. kaya pag ako nagsuicide, bibigyan ko talaga sila ng hard time. yung tipong hindi nila mahuhulaan kung pano ako namatay.
amanda: pano?
alexa: simple lang. magbibigti ako, first of all. tapos magbubukas din ako ng white flower sa harapan ko. tapos dapat may saksak din ako sa tagiliran. nakaslash din dapat ang wrist ko na parang emo lang. nagmumog din ako ng muriatic. at dapat nakalublob din ang ulo ko sa balde na punong-puno ng tubig. tingnan ko lang kung hindi sila mahirapan!
cherry: pero dapat daw may suicide letter din eh. parang kailangan talaga, para hindi gaanong kahirap magka closure if ever.
alexa: eh di lalagyan ko ng '3ohwz poeHwz!', kasi diba emo dapat? oh ayan. meron na akong plans. hihihi.

pang apat na round. (i lost count na, shet, at oo dapat inggles, kasi lasing na me ng mga panahong yaon)
cast of characters: same shit, pero at this point ay nagteteks na ang mga estudyante (which happens to be all of them) na hindi na sila makakapasok sa klase nila.

clyde: may kwento din pala ako tungkol sa suicide suicide na yan, hikhik.
jonah: go na, nagpapaalam ka pa eh!
amanda, cherry, alexa: asdoishdpaodjd!#$%! (oo, inaudible na yan)
clyde: yung nanay ko kasi, may naging student din siya dati. nabuntis. pero nahirapang aminin sa magulang nya. kaya nag attempt mag suicide. alam nyo ang ginawa? una, kumuha ng lubid si ate. itinali sa leeg nya. tapos itinali sa doorknob ang other end. tapos luluhod siya every time para mawalan siya ng hininga..
jonah: pwede pala yun?
cherry: so feeling nya ngipin ang ulo nya?
clyde: hindi pa ako tapos! yun nga eh. hindi siya natuluyan kasi everytime daw hindi na siya makahinga ay parang dumidilim ang paningin nya, kaya tumatayo nalang ulit siya. nakailang attempts din si ate. pero wafaz!
alexa: malamang, eh ano ba ang gusto nya makita? white light? eh pano pag hell talaga ang destiny nya kaya dumidilim ang paningin nya? hahaha!
amanda: (drunk dialing.)
cherry: (nagsusumikap malasing ng mag isa nya.)
jonah: (sukadance)
amanda: ui, alam nyo bang dinakma ni potang baron geisler ang boobs ni cherry pie?

(at this point onwards, hindi na pwedeng idivulge ang mga kaganapan nung hapon na yun. pero buhay pa naman kaming lahat pag alis namin sa drinking venue.)

end of story
(congrats kung umabot ka man dito)

Sunday, January 16

wala akong maisip na title para dito.

bakit may mga araw na sadyang kay hirap magsulat?

katulad ngayon, mahigit sa isang linggo na pala akong hindi nakakasulat dito. pero alam ko naman talagang madami akong kwento -- yun nga lang, ang pakiramdam ko ay hindi ko sila maisusulat ng maayos.

alam mo yung ganung pakiramdam?

yung kahit na gusto mong sumulat tungkol sa isang ideyang nakaukit sa iyong utak, ay hindi mo kayang panindigan na isulat ito? yung tipong natatakot ka na baka kulangin ang mga salitang dapat mong gamitin, at kakapusin ka ng mga emosyong dapat sana'y susustento sa pagkekwento mo?

siguro ito nga ang tinatawag nilang writer's block -- pero hindi din eh, kasi nitong mga nakaraang araw, ay malakas naman ang naging paghataw ko sa pagsusulat ng mga kung anu-anung mga mundane shit para sa aking online job. noong isang araw lang, sumulat ako tungkol sa 'best position to get pregnant'. 750 words, at free writing lamang. kanina naman, 'how to shop for your mother-in-law's dress on your wedding day'.

mga ganung keme.

at in the fair, nakakapagsulat naman ako ng matino. nalaman ko pa nga na missionary position pala ang pinakamainam na posisyon pagdating sa pakikipagtalik, dahil kusang lumalapit ang sperm sa cervix kapag ito ang posisyong ginamit. ang 'woman on top' naman ay hindi nakakatulong kapag gustong mabuntis ng babae, dahil kusang 'nagleleak out' ang sperm ng lalake sa posisyong ito.

diba? nakakapagsulat naman ako ng maayos pagdating sa mga ganyan.

pero bakit pagdating sa blog na ito, wala akong matinong maisulat? bakit parang ang loser lang ng pakiramdam pag wala akong inspirasyong magsulat tungkol sa mga bagay na may kabuluhan naman at hindi ko ginagawa ng dahil lang sa pera?

pasensya sa mga walang kwentang tanong na ito, pero di ko talaga alam kung ano ang mga sagot, o kung meron nga talagang sagot. kasi ang labo din ng mga tanong ko eh.


Friday, January 7


i have to dig into my memory deeper, because this story was only relayed to me by a college acquaintance two, or maybe three, years ago. i remember we were engaged in a frenzy of stories about our childhood days -- and his story stood out, because until this very day, it is still clear in my mind, except for a few hazy details.

so you need to bear with me.

the story takes place in the sleepy island of siquijor, in one of the more obscure poblacions there that bears the name of the spanish conquistadores who had claimed ownership over that wide parcel of land. if my memory serves me right, the name of the town is don herminigilio, and the story takes place during the wee hours of the morning.

at two in the morning, to be exact.

a man, by the name of pedro, or juan -- i can't really recall what his name was, but it was a probinsyano name nonetheless -- was scurrying in the dark. at two in the morning, the night sky was cold, dark, and starless, save for a few tinge of crimson red that pierced through the dispersed cloud formations above.

the nameless man, since there had been no resolution as to what his real identity is, felt his heavy breathing amid the irregular drumming of his heart. he had a reason to be in a hurry after all, since his wife would be giving birth any minute from now. the island's health center was still two poblacions away, but since siquijor's land mass is relatively small, it would only take him roughly 30 minutes to get there.

he would've opted to get a habal-habal ride, but during ungodly hours such as this, the habal-habal operators would have already retreated to their homes, or were in the pier area, patiently waiting for the first ferry trip from dumaguete that would give them their handful of naive tourists who can easily be fooled into forking out their dollars for one quick trip around the mystic island.

his pace hastened as he began to feel the cold streaks of perspiration running down his face. and even when the night was starless, it was not as dark as most nights, and through the dispersed moon streaks, he could see that the early morning breeze had humbled the mais leaves into inevitable submission.

the constant gusts of wind made a sound that was half-eerie, and half poignant.

with his hastened pace, it did not take him long to reach the salagdoong junction, where if he turned left, he would be passing through the asphalted national road, but it would take him a much longer time to get to the health center, or if he would opt to continue treading forward, he would get there much faster.

but he would have to pass through a hectare of cornfields by foot if he chose the latter.

the mais leaves shone under the moon's illumine -- seemingly an invite for him to choose efficiency over conveneince.

hurriedly, he sprinted ahead and chose to pass through the endless maze of cornfields, since clearly, he had no more time to spare.

as he used his hands to fend off the mais leaves that slapped his face with his every step forward, he heard the flutter of the night creatures, and the intensity of the wind's incessant howl. he heard the crackle of the dried leaves that he stepped on, and felt the damp soil that soiled his slipper-less feet with his every movement.

the streaks of perspiration in his face glistened under the moon's radiance, but he was unmindful of all these. he was racing against time, and there was nothing that could slow him down.

except for what he saw just when he was in the heart of mang julio's cornfields.

it was about 20 meters away from him, but he could clearly see the seemingly thick puddle of shiny object that had the sheen and texture of silky black as it slithered its way into the ground, just like a slimy reptile.

he momentarily stopped to have a good look at what he just saw, but he was perplexed to see that it was not there anymore.

'ah, guni-guni lang to nako'.

he moved forward.

he was surprised to see that the slimy puddle was already just about 3 meters away from him.

and when he took one more step, it was already underneath his breath.

it took a long time for his reflexes to take over, so unintentionally, he stepped on the mysterious puddle of impeccable black.

upon instant contact with his foot, the shrilly cry of a newborn infant pierced through the eerie silence of the cornfield.

and just like a snake that had been accidentally stepped on, it slithered its way into the ground and disappeared in an instant.

Sunday, January 2

my only resolution.

every year, I always get optimistic, especially if it's the first day.

i know that resolutions are so cliche, and that we can easily will ourselves to become better in any given day, but to be back on square one is always the best time to try to streamline our lives and strive to become better persons.

for me, there is always something redemptive in clean slates, and everything depends on our resolve to sustain what our resolutions will be, and not be wishy-washy in trying to incorporate these newfound learnings in our lives.

i was thinking of a good resolution for 2011, and after scanning my room for a short while, it was obvious what i needed to do with my life for this year.

my fan was on. the night light was illuminating my room at one in the afternoon. the radio commentator was busy chattering away about the latest political ruckus involving the mayor and city funds that were allegedly squandered by his minions in the city council. my bathroom CR's light was turned on. and all this while i was tucked comfortably in bed, lost in my thoughts and wandering away with my new year musings.

then the resolution that i needed became so lucid i was convinced i could feel how palpable it was if i attempted to touch it with my bare hands.

i need to assess what i really want in life. no, N E E D is more apt.

for right in that room, i was wasting electricity away, and i did not even need the night light, the radio's incessant noise, nor the CR's illumination.

not only was i wasting electricity, but the benefits that these items could potentially bring me were not that optimized, because i was not fully aware that they were even there. i just let them be. i lorded over these inanimate objects just because i had the capacity to.

of course, there was a need for this to transcend.

i've realized that for the year that was, most of my grief came from the fact that my emotional investments were, for the most part, diffused. i've invested in certain people, irrespective of how intense or negligible they were, and most times, i've been distressing about how they reciprocated my emotions. i was a complete scatterheart, if ever there is a term, and my emotional state was largely dependent on these few scattered people.

the end result was of course tragic: i ended up not loving any one the way one deserves to be loved, and i did not feel the intensity of their emotions because i was too busy looking for other people to love, or hurt -- whichever is more apt.

for this year, i will try to look for what i TRULY need.

in my room, it's only the electric fan, to keep me from being melted by the sun's heat.

and in my life, it's that one single person who i can love, and who can love me unconditionally as well.